The “Land Behind” is the literal translation of the German word – hinterland. So what are the hinterlands?
- The rural territory surrounding an urban area, especially a port.
- A remote or undeveloped area, a backwater.
- An area lying beyond what is visible or known.
It is in the hinterlands where one finds the truly unique and unusual places. Points on the margins of the map that are often, but not always, far from both the maddening, as well as the contented, crowds. But more than just being labeled oddities, these place often speak to a profound personal vision, to a lost art form, or to a forgotten history.
There is a major reason that many of the places I am going to talk about are located in the hinterlands – usually either rural areas or the seedier sections of the big city. Basically, it is because property is not valued at as high a premium. People are left alone to build whatever they want, without land developers, asshole neighbors or city planners tearing it down.
This website is going to detail some of the fascinating and unique places in the U.S. that I have stumbled on. There are going to be lots and lots of folk art environments, but also some offbeat museums and other relics of the old, weird America.
Here be Dragons – and robots and cabinets of curiosity and homemade spacecrafts and castles and lumbering backyard colossi and imitation painted mountains.
One of my main goals with sharing these places is to get other people to visit them and hopefully appreciate and understand them a bit better. A lot of these places are on the endangered species list, as there is often not enough community support or money to maintain them (one of the drawbacks to being in the hinterlands). With this in mind I am going to try to detail the most up to date directions and visitor information so that you, dear reader, can go check them out.